Although India won their opener against Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in thrilling fashion on Sunday, courtesy a magical innings from Virat Kohli, there still remained areas that India need to work out in order to qualify for the semi-finals of the mega-event. One of them remains the team composition, the lack of a cushion in the batting line-up and expensive bowling at death.

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Ahead of the India’s Super 12 clash against New Zealand at Sydney on Thursday, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey addressed some of those areas and also spoke about the Australian conditions, its potential assistance for fast bowlers, Arshdeep Singh’s ability to handle pressure, his work with Mohammad Shami in order to ensure he returns to fitness and more.

He also confirmed that there are no selection issues for the team at the moment in terms of niggles and hinted India won’t look to rest or rotate anyone against Netherlands.

Here’s a look at excerpts from the pre-match media conference:

On Arshdeep Singh:

Well, if you’ve followed him for the last couple years, been looking at the way he’s performed, I think the one thing really stands out with that kid is his ability to handle pressure. He does hard work in the IPL. He does two different phases in the format he bowls; that is the first powerplay and the death overs.

The composure he’s shown, the clarity of thought process that he’s shown, he’s a great kid. I think this is the fate that he’ll go through. There will be ups and downs in his career, but the way he’s come back, the quality he’s shown with the way he’s come back and the ability to handle pressure is phenomenal, and I think I’m not really surprised the way he’s bowled in the first game, as well.

So we have a lot of confidence in him, and he has a good future for us.

On Arshdeep’s first time playing in Australia:

It starts with a lot of discussion, obviously, in terms of he’s the kind of guy who likes to talk a lot and he has a chat with the other senior guys, and I’ve seen him discussing a lot with Bhuvi and Shami, as well, because those guys have played out here.

So the kind of learning that he’s taking, he’s trying to implement that in a game. I’ll give that credit to him, as well. Obviously having a chat and understanding what is required, but to be able to go out there and execute it and do it yourself as individual skills comes in. In that sense I give the credit to him.

Australian conditions and assistance for fast bowlers:

It’s going to be challenging, I think from the batting perspective. You saw in the last game, we expected it to do a little bit, but didn’t really expect it to do as much as what we thought in the game.

The initial phase, the first powerplay is going to be challenging, I think. But I’m happy. I think that gives an opportunity to get back in the game, take wickets from the bowling perspective.

It’s going to be a challenge. It’s good. But having said that, also you’ve got to be able to use the conditions, and the knowledge of the adaptability phase will come in. Different wickets will pose different challenges, and you have to be able to adapt to the length, the lines, depending on the conditions.

But yeah, you’ve got to be able to summarise how the wicket is.

On death bowling concerns:

Obviously, I think the end overs has been a challenge – not only for us but for other teams, as well, and if you look at other teams – well, the last game itself, people have gone for runs.

We acknowledge that it’s going to be a challenging phase. Yes, we have bowlers for it. We’ve prepared for it. And for us, we’ve identified those bowlers who are going to be our death specialists, as well.

Having said that, I think in this format you’ve got to be adaptable. You’ve got to be able to kind of have other options available in case required, so if not maybe seam bowlers, it might be spinners. I think you want to put in those challenges; you want to think differently at times.

But we have those bowlers. We have our plans sorted in that.

On Mohammad Shami:

I think it started when he went to the NCA. We wanted to have a look at how he felt, what shape he was in. He put in the loads, the numbers there, and whatever feedback we got, we were pretty happy about it.

Look, in his case, he’s a very experienced, very seasoned bowler. You know what you’re going to get from him, that was sure, but the important bit was how he turned up after Covid, and we were pretty happy with the recovery. At the NCA, whatever feedback, whatever reports we got, we were pretty happy about it.

He was in good frame, good space. Whatever discussion that we had, he was looking forward to this tournament and started with the first over that he bowled in Australia. He looked in great rhythm, and I think that also gave us the confidence of knowing what you’re going to get from Shami. But he’s a champion bowler, no doubt.

On Hardik Pandya:

It’s good that Hardik does give you that four overs option, and that’s what we wanted. He brings a lot of balance to the team once he does that, and he also has been very effective for us. He’s picked up wickets, and that’s important for us.

But having said that, getting a batsman in [with Pandya as the fifth bowler] or the different combination will purely depend on the team that we are playing and also the conditions.

Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.